Andrew Jackson BLAKE ~ Funeral Card Friday

Andrew Jackson BLAKE’s Funeral Card Front

Andrew Jackson BLAKE was my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather on his dad’s maternal branch. He was born in May 1826 in Ohio to Theophilus BLAKE and Phoebe ARTHUR. He passed away in 1900.

Andrew married Hannah A HAMMON on February 24, 1853 in Hocking, Ohio. They were the parents of Hannah A BLAKE (born in California in 1858), who was the mother of Josephine Marie THALER, who was the mother of Evelyn Iola JOHNSON, who was the mother of my father-in-love.

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My 2021 Ancestry DNA Update

It is that time again… I was a bit nervous for what the new algorithm would show as my newest ethnicity estimates, because it hasn’t always gone in the way I believe that it should. First of all, there are certain ethnicities that are not showing up that I believe should.

There was also A LOT of talk coming up to this update that a ton of people thought that their Scottish and Irish were WAY off and too high compared to their paper trails. My paper trail is showing a lot of both, so I felt that mine (with this last update before this) was FINALLY showing around the right amount of Scottish and Irish. I do still think that I probably have a bit more Irish than it shows, although I now know that I am more Scottish than Irish.

My Native American that should show up only shows up on my 23andMe results, but it is still A LOT lower than it should be according to my paper trail. That is, I totally believe, still because they (neither company) do not have an adequate sampling to compare with. It truly seems that they mostly just have Native Americans from Alaska and South America adequately represented. One of the big reasons for this is that a lot of the tribes do not feel comfortable sharing their DNA with anyone. They don’t trust what will be done with it. I totally understand, because the track record is not good.

Our Cherokee and Choctaw are more from the east half of the United States and the “few drops” of Shoshone are more from the mid-level part of the west. I say “few drops”, because that is what my grandma always said. We were supposed to have significant amounts of Cherokee from her side and the same amount of Choctaw from my grandpa’s side. I don’t know exactly where the Shoshone was supposed to come from, but it would definitely be on my maternal side. I have not had even a wiff of anything Native American on my biological father’s side.

I believe these days that our full-blooded NA Ancestors are a bit further back than we understood and a lot of it simply washed-out of our DNA. My great-great-grandmas (two of them) were said to be 50% NA themselves, but I am not seeing that. My grandma’s maternal grandma was supposed to have hers from her mom’s side. That is still one of my brick walls. The names seem to not be NA, though, and by assumptions come from other European countries.

I have unexpectedly found, however, that her father has NA ancestry, but there is a possibility that this 5th great-grandmother of mine may not actually be 100% like is believed. There is talk that she was actually adopted by an 100% NA family in the tribe (and may not have been NA by blood… or maybe not 100%). She did, however, live her life as 100% Native American.

All of this still doesn’t automatically do away with the possibility of NA blood through this branch, though, because she was said to be NA on her mom’s side, she lived on a reservation at least two time periods during her life, and she shows up on at least one census as NA.

Either way, we definitely had family members who were made to go on the Trail of Tears on my maternal grandma’s side.

The great-great-grandma on my maternal grandpa’s side doesn’t show even that promise as of yet. I still have more to do, but it appears that if she had NA in her, it wasn’t nearly as much as we thought. Her daughter (my great-grandma) passed when my grandpa was still a toddler, so we really don’t know much about her and her side yet so that isn’t too surprising… just disappointing.

My Latest Ancestry DNA Estimate

My Ancestry DNA Results as of 9/17/2021

Unfortunately, my Scottish went down from 37% to 31% and my Irish went down from 6% to 5%. That is honestly not bad at all given the way that everyone was saying that the last update was WAY off with these two ethnicities. So, I went from being 42% Scottish and Irish to 36%. Still not bad. Either way, these estimates both reflect what I am seeing on my paper trail, although I believe that I should be a bit more Irish (even if that takes away from my Scottish). My biological father seemed to be the majority of these two ethnicities and my mom’s side is also now showing a little bit of these, too.

My Wales went up from 3% to 7%. That to me seems closer to the truth. I was guessing around 10% or a little less, so this 7% is likely about right.

My Germanic Europe has gone down from 5% to 3%. I believe this is very likely about as correct as it can be. I have only seen one branch several generations back that appear to be German. This category also includes most of Switzerland and Austria. I should have at least a little bit of Swiss in my DNA and I have found at least one ancestor way back from Austria. Given all of this, my estimate probably could be 5% like the update before this shows. Ancestry has been much more accurate on my German DNA than 23andMe, for sure. 23andMe usually has me around (or over) 20%. That is NOT correct unless every bit of my short branches are German and I don’t see that at all.

My Norway went away… which I did not know I had until it showed up on my DNA results and maybe I just don’t. I SHOULD, however, have some other Scandinavian in there. It even shows up on my paper trail.

As for the England and Northwestern Europe category, I think that my 46% estimate last time was probably relatively close to correct. I believe that my current 54% is a bit too high and that they may be lumping in some DNA that is not as clear to them (or that they just consider “noise”). This section (at least the current one) includes: England, Belgium, Channel Islands, and dips down and encompasses maybe a third of France. I clearly show a significant amount of French ancestry on my paper trail; definitely enough to clearly be included in my DNA results. If my French ancestors were from the east side of France, this explains a lot.

My Previous Ancestry DNA Estimates

My 2020 Ancestry DNA Estimate
My 2019 Ancestry DNA Estimate

As you can see above, they were way off in regards to my Irish and Scottish even though they were definitely heading in the right direction. My initial estimate showed me as less than 1% Irish, Scottish, and Welsh combined. Now, my estimate shows me as being 43% Scottish, Irish, and Welsh combined. Less that 1% was SO wrong and laughable knowing even part of my paper trail.

My Initial Ancestry DNA Estimate – July 2018

The most accurate (in my opinion) on this initial estimate was the Scandinavian. If I truly do have a bit of Norwegian in me, than this might be close to correct since I think I should have about 5% Scandinavian in me according to my paper trail and some other companies’ estimates.

If you would like to get your DNA tested, please consider using my referral links to get there. I get a small compensation when someone purchases a DNA test through my referral links. Thank you in advance for your support.

Which Test Do I Recommend?

If you are searching for an unknown parent (especially if both are unknown), I highly recommend that you test through both companies. It really helped me discover who my biological father was (without even a name) relatively quickly. It still took some hard work, but it was a lot easier and worth it. Many who really know their stuff in finding unknown parents recommend this as well; they are the ones who recommended it to me. Also, remember that some families tend to test more on one test than the other. You will not know until you test at both companies which one has more for you to work with . My mom’s side tends to test more on Ancestry and my dad’s side tends to test more on 23andMe.

If you are primarily interested in finding family and how your matches are related to you, I recommend Ancestry. There are more helpful family trees easily accessible and I really like their ThruLines, Common Ancestors, Filters, creating and tagging your own groups and labels, and the availability to clearly mark your known family members with exactly how they are related to you and through which side. Several of these features are relatively new and I love them!

If you are primarily interested in health reports, I recommend 23andMe. They, however, are adding some new features that can help more. Your raw data results from 23andMe can also be used in a few more places to upload your DNA data to other companies than Ancestry. They both can be used, though, and I highly recommend that you upload wherever you can.

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Barbara BELL WHISENHUNT ~ Wordless Wednesday

Barbara BELL was one of my fifth great-grandmothers on my maternal grandma’s side. She was born in 1771 in Randolph County, North Carolina. It is believed that she was adopted by a Native American family and she may or may not have been 100% Native American by blood.

She passed away December 31, 1870 in Fannin County, Texas. Her grave had a little long house built over it. A few years ago, the man who now owned the land bulldozed the cemetery and stones so nobody would have a reason to want to see their family members’ graves. Yes, you read that correctly… This boils my blood thinking about it.

Barbara married Adam WHISENHUNT (1769-1849) and they were the parents of Elizabeth WHISENHUNT, who was the mother of Henry MEREDITH, who was the father of Sarah Elizabeth Jasmine Carter MEREDITH, who was the mother of Mary Irene Saphronia Jasmine SMITH, who was the mother of Ruby Irene PORTER, who was my maternal grandma.

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25 Free Kindle Books for Genealogy

Free Kindle Books for Genealogy

These Kindle books are all related to genealogy and/or history of particular areas where your ancestors may have lived. Many of these books also come in paperback and/or hardback. I like to check out the Kindle versions for free and then decide if I should also have a printed version for my library.

These Kindle books are free at the time of this post. But…Please be sure to check the price on each of these before clicking on the buy now button. The prices could change at anytime. Some of the books are only free if you have Kindle Unlimited, but are included since they are good resources.)

(Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate and I earn from qualifying purchases.)

1. The Genealogist’s Guide to Y-DNA Testing for Genetic Genealogy (This one is free if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership.) by David Vance

2. History of New Brunswick by Peter Fisher

3. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624 by Charles E. Hatch

4. Pioneers of the Old South: a chronicle of English colonial beginnings by Mary Johnston

5. The History of Virginia, in Four Parts by Robert Beverley

6. The Story of Barney and Bridget: McPhillips and Mannion Families (Includes recipes, pictures, histories of Ireland and southern Indiana…) – (This one is free if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership.) by Claudia Coffey et al

7. History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan: A Grammar of Their Language, and Personal and Family History of the Author by Andrew J. Blackbird

8. The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 by Leander Stillwell

9. The Stephens Family: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joshua Stevens by Bascom Asbury Cecil Stephens

10. A Trip to California in 1853 Recollections of a Gold Seeking Trip by Ox Train Across the Plains and Mountains by an Old Illinois Pioneer by Washington Bailey

11. The Twenty-fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion History, Reminiscences, Description of Battle of Irish Bend, Carrying of Pay Roll, Roster by George P. Bissell, Samuel K. Ellis, Henry Hill Goodell, and Thomas McManus

12. History of Prince Edward Island by Duncan Campbell

13. The Dispatch Carrier and Memoirs of Andersonville Prison (First part of book is about volunteering, training, and war. Second part is about life being a POW at Andersonville during the Civil War.) by William N. Tyler

14. Colonial Records of Virginia

15. Scotland’s Mark on America by George Fraser Black

16. The Romance of Names (English Surnames) by Ernest Weekley

17. Texas: A Brief Account of the Origin, Progress and Present State of the Colonial Settlements of Texas; Together with an Exposition of the Causes which have included the Existing War with Mexico by William Harris Wharton

18. The Planters of Colonial Virginia by Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker

19. Viking Tales by Jennie Hall and Victor Ralph Lambdin

20. Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676 by Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker

21. The Mayflower and Her Log; July 15, 1620 – May 6, 1621 – Complete by Azel Ames

22. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths by Charles McLean Andrews

23. The Manual of Heraldry; Fifth Edition Being a Concise Description of the Several Terms Used, and Containing a Dictionary of Every Designation in the Science

24. History of the Mackenzies, with genealogies of the principal families of the name by Alexander Mackenzie

25. History of India: A History In 50 Events (This one is free if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership.) by Hourly History


More Free Resources

If you like this list, you will want to check out a couple of my most popular posts with free Resources:

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Moses PORTER and Polly ROSENBERGER ~ Tombstone Tuesday

My third great-grandfather, Moses Franklin PORTER, was born January 20, 1826 in Madison County, Kentucky to Henry PORTER (1778-1868) and Nancy T BOWLES (1788-1836). Moses passed away December 26, 1900 in Oxford, Sumner County, Kansas.

Polly ROSENBERGER was Moses’ second wife after my third great-grandmother Elizabeth Ann HOSKINS (his first wife) passed away during childbirth of twins in 1855. One twin was my great-great-grandfather Daniel Marion PORTER. The other twin was evidently unnamed and passed away a few days later.

Mary Polly ROSENBERGER was born December 24, 1841 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and passed away June 15, 1904 in Oxford, Kansas.

Moses and Elizabeth had six children including: John Henry PORTER, William Thomas PORTER, Rebecca Ann PORTER, Nancy PORTER, Daniel Marion PORTER, and infant twin of Daniel who was unnamed (at least in any records I can find) and only lived from December 28, 1855 to an early day in 1856.

Moses and Polly were married in 1857 and had at least ten children including: Mary Isabelle PORTER, Ellen Sara PORTER, Laura PORTER, Aaron Dudley PORTER, Fannie Matilda PORTER, Moses F PORTER, Charles Leonard PORTER, Shirley Edwin PORTER, Bertha E PORTER, and Grover C PORTER.

Moses Franklin PORTER

Moses Franklin PORTER and Elizabeth Ann HOSKINS were the parents of Daniel Marion PORTER.

Daniel Marion PORTER (December 28, 1855 to February 27, 1925) and Caroline Adele GILBERT (1864 to 1895) were the parents of Charles Oscar PORTER.

Charles Oscar PORTER (April 2, 1884 to April 19, 1946) and Mary Irene “Renie” Saphronia Jasmine SMITH (July 4, 1890 to June 25, 1947) were the parents of my maternal grandma, Ruby Irene PORTER (March 24, 1928 to May 13, 2010).

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Meredith ~ Surname Saturday

Origin

The name MEREDITH is an ancient Welsh surname. It comes from the given names Meredydd, Maredudd, and the old Welsh form Morgetiud and is derived from the name of an ancestor (for example: “the son of Meredith”).

The original spelling is said to be “Maredudd”, but was pronounced “Mahredeeth” The name is related to the Old Welsh word moriud which means sea warrior or see lord.

Early History

The earliest found use of Meredith as a surname was in Denbigshire, which is a historic county in Northeast Wales. It was recorded on a document related to the 1536 “Act of Union” between England and Wales.

This Meredith family held a family seat from very ancient times. Some say they held a seat from well before the Norman Conquest and arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD. A family seat was a principal manor of a medieval lord. This was usually an elegant country mansion and usually meant the that family held economic and political influences in the area.

Prominent Meredith’s before 1700:

Richard Meredith (sometimes Meredyth) was the Church of Ireland Bishop of Leighlin from 1589 to his death in 1597.

Sir William Meredith was the first Baronet of Leeds Abbey in Kent. He was born in 1603 in Wrexham, Denbighshire, Wales and passed away April 10, 1675 in Leeds Abbey, Kent, England.

Migration

Many people from Wales joined the migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in search of freedom, work, and land. Others with the Meredith surname migrated in large numbers to England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Prevalence and Variations

Meredith is the 9,051st most prevalent surname on a worldwide basis, meaning that approximately 1 out of 116,420 people share this name. 53% of the people with the surname Meredith live in North America. This means that about 33,149 people or 1 out of 10,934 people in North America have the surname Meredith.

Compared to other countries, there are not nearly as many Welsh surnames, but they have a greater number of spelling variations. This is partially due to officials and scribes recording names as they sounded, as well as, many choosing to change their surnames slightly in order to signify their branch of the family, religious adherence, and/or patriotic affiliations.

Name variations include: Meredith, Meradith, Meredeth, Meridith, Meredydd.

Motto

The original Meredith motto (war cry or slogan) was “Heb Dduw heb ddim, a Duw a digon.” Translation: “Without God there is nothing.”

Our Meredith Line

Junor MEREDITH (spelling of first name is correct) was born about 1752 in Louisa County, Virginia and passed away about 1831 in Henry County, Virginia. He was the father of William MEREDITH, who was born in 1778 in Henry County, Virginia and passed away around 1830 also in Henry County, Virginia. He was the father of John Thomas MEREDITH, who was born October 3, 1806 in Virginia. He was the father of Henry MEREDITH , who was born in 1836 in Georgia and probably passed away June 22, 1865 in Caddo Gap Township, Montgomery County, Arkansas. He was the father of Sarah Elizabeth Jasmine Carter MEREDITH, who was born May 9, 1863 in Arkansas and passed away March 10, 1940 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. She was the mother of Mary Irene Saphronia Jasmine SMITH, who was born July 4, 1890 in Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma and passed away June 25, 1947 in Stockton, Cedar County, Missouri. She was the mother of my maternal grandma, Ruby Irene PORTER.

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John Stephen Holland and Margaret Ella Cullender and Family ~ Wordless Wednesday

Family portrait taken in 1905. Front Row (L to R): Lela Bethel, Lucy Jewel, John Stephen, Daniel Booker, Margaret Ella, and William Sampson. Back Row (L to R): Jesse Clyde, Charlie Clarence, and Susan Avo

John Stephen Holland and Margaret Ella Cullender Holland were my great-great-grandparents on my paternal grandma’s father’s side. My great-grandfather Charlie Clarence Holland is in the center of the back row.

John Stephen Holland was born August 23, 1860 in Mount Vernon, Lawrence County, Missouri and passed away June 2, 1938 in Texas.

Margaret Ella Cullender was born August 21, 1870 in Osage, Carroll County, Arkansas and passed away March 4, 1946 in Shamrock, Wheeler County, Texas (literally one year to the day before my mom was born). They were married in 1889.

Charlie Clarence Holland was born October 13, 1889 in Piney, Carroll County, Arkansas and passed away March 3, 1956 in Erick, Beckham County, Oklahoma (one day before the 10th anniversary of his mother’s death). He was the father of my biological paternal grandma, Clara Odell Holland.

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My Genomelink Global Ancestry Results

I just received my Global Ancestry results from Genomelink. It honestly doesn’t surprise me TOO much.

The way I understand this, it looks at your chromosomes individually. When certain things are seen on each chromosome, they correspond with originally coming from a certain ethnicity (further back than Ancestry and 23andMe results). It is a much deeper dive into your DNA. 

I am not entirely surprised by the Iberian, because my initial results from 23andMe did show a bit of Iberian. They have since removed it from my ethnicity estimate. It looks like that bit of DNA has been lumped in elsewhere where they “think” my DNA comes from. The way I understand it, both companies removed some of what they saw as just “noise” when it could really be something that is true.

Their updates, however, have generally gotten closer to my paper trail (for example: I am no longer seen as almost completely British and now show about 42% Scottish and Irish, which seems about right), but some things (for example: my Scandinavian that I know I have) has mostly been removed even though I know that it was more correct in my first results.

That being said, this deeper dive is showing my Iberian at 23% (compared to my initial results at 6-11% by 23andMe). I think that is likely a bit high, since I so far only know of one ancestor from that area. It was MANY generations back, so I thought that was why it wasn’t really showing up anymore (even though it did at first).

Regarding the Italian: This would be cool. I did see this on a result early on from another group (which I can no longer find… I think it was through a college science department) that took your raw DNA results and analyzed them for you. If I remember correctly, it was putting me at somewhere between 4% and 6% Italian. Have I seen anything like this in my paper trail? No, but I do still have several extremely short branches and brick walls on both sides.

I also did see some mention of something like a trace of Asian and another of Middle Eastern on a couple of earlier results, too. Not sure where those come from in my tree, but being raised thinking I was Heinz 57 (and more than most people…) I do appreciate a little more variety showing up. LOL

I don’t remember even hearing about Dravidian before, but it is cool having some more variety in my DNA make up, even though five of them are only at 1%.

Genomelink is another one of those companies that you simply upload your raw DNA data from Ancestry or 23andMe and they analyze it with their own algorithms.

Remember, your DNA does not lie or change. If it shows that one or both of your parents’ sides are not related to you… either one or both of your parents is not who you expected or one of their parents or grandparents are not. These results, as well as who your DNA matches are (the closer ones like 4th cousin and closer) ARE your relatives. But… the algorithms the companies use to try to “estimate” what nationalities you are can change (and might be really off, depending on the company and their base samples they test against). That is one of the reasons why I like to look at several different estimates. (Please note that some of Genomelink is free, but I believe you only have temporary access. I also had to pay for this estimation, but I got it on sale. Best news? It only took about 24 hours to get my results.)

Below are my current estimates from the different companies. The ones from Ancestry and 23andMe are both around my third updates from each. All of the others are the only ones I have received so far.

Left to Right – Top row: Ancestry and 23andMe – Bottom row/section: My True Ancestry (another deeper dive) on top of Wegene (which is currently, in my opinion and according to my knowledge, the most inaccurate for me, yet, although I would love to have some Ashkenazi in me). Over on the right side of the bottom is from My Heritage. This was the first one to recognize that I do indeed have A LOT of Scottish and Irish in me, as well as a nice amount of Welch. It also shows the most Scandinavian, which looks like it could be correct (if not still slightly low). It was also the first place that I saw any mention of Middle Eastern, which is a total surprise. (Please note that the links to Ancestry and 23andMe are my referral links. You get a percentage off and I get a gift card. Win, win. Thank you in advance.)

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Herbert Woodrow Tanner and Clara Odell Holland ~ Wordless Wednesday

Clara Odell Holland and Herbert Woodrow Tanner

Herbert Woodrow TANNER and Clara Odell HOLLAND were my paternal grandparents whom I discovered in 2018 at the age of 50. I had to take DNA tests through Ancestry and 23andMe to discover who my biological father was and these were his parents.

(The links for Ancestry and 23andMe above are my referral links. If you purchase a DNA test through my referral links, you get a discount and I get a gift card. Please note, that I think that if Ancestry is having a special sale it does not give you my additional discount, but I am not positive. Just watch for that. If that is the case, just go out and back in without using my link.)

Herbert Woodrow Tanner

 

 

Herbert Woodrow TANNER was born April 19, 1918, in Orange, Doña Ana County, New Mexico. He was the son of Lemuel Isaac TANNER (December 22, 1866 – July 23, 1924) and Virginia Ethel “Jennie” McBRIDE (May 16, 1895 – June 26, 1982).

Clara Odell Holland

 

 

 

 

 

Clara Odell HOLLAND was born August 6, 1920 in Erick, Beckham County, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of Charlie Clarence HOLLAND (October 13, 1889 – March 3, 1956) and Maude Eunice WILSON (January 14, 1897 – January 11, 1984).

Posted in Biological Father and Family, HOLLAND ~ WILSON ~ CULLENDER ~ LAWRENCE ~ NORRIS, TANNER ~ McBRIDE, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Freaky Quarantine Dream

Now, I have been known to have some freaky dreams in my time, but this one takes the cake! Not only is my head still spinning, but I am physically tired and now stressed about a Zoom meeting today that honestly can only go smoothly.

Let’s first set the stage. In the dream we are all under the current stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19 and the location is at my home in northern Nevada. The names have been changed to protect the innocent… LOL I will, however, let my friends and family know who each other is in real life, because believe me… that makes this all even funnier.

The key players are:

  • My mom whom passed away when I was 19 over 33 years ago. She is in her body that just turned 40-years-old and nobody but me seems to realize the problems here.
  • My sister whom still lives back where we grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri area. I will call her “Veronica”.
  • “Angie” is a current friend from our homeschool community whom I evidently haven’t seen in too long, since she is key in this dream.
  • “Cassie” is a close childhood friend who still lives back in the KCMO area and is now a grandma several times over.
  • “Nate” was the first guy I ever went out on an official date with. Official as in, my mom knew about…lol, approved since he was the son of a friend of hers and he was going into the military (it was at an Air Force send off banquet), and was more than something like a school dance.
  • “Lynn” is my boss whom I am doing a lot of work for from home during this time.
  • Variety of friends: many from my local area in northern Nevada and at their current ages… sorry guys.  😉   There were a few people from all through my life sprinkled in here and there and about half of them were the ages from when we were last together (all between 20+ to 30+ years ago). Unfortunately for me, I was one of the ones in my current age.  😉

Even though we are all still supposed to only go out to do essential business, I had gone somewhere. My guess is the grocery store, since that is pretty much the extent of any of my “adventures” out of the home at this time.

I get home and walk into the house. The door is uncharacteristically unlocked and my son “Buddy” and my hubby are both nowhere to be found. I do, however, find Angie sitting on my couch like she owns the place and there are probably about 10 people mingling around in my living room, dining room, and kitchen. No; my house is NOT company ready, because… we are NOT supposed to be having any company over!  😉

Anyway, Nate and Cassie start heading over to the front foyer closet door as a couple. Now, I am thinking that they had at least met sometime during junior high and/or high school, but that would probably be the extent of it. They were also at least 2 or 3 years ahead of me in school, but in this dream they are probably in their early 20’s.

Nate and Cassie start to tape several pieces of paper that look like over-sized bookmarks all over my closet door. I asked them in a confused, yet calm-enough manner, what they are doing. They start to explain to me like a couple who has been together for years and finishes each other’s sentences that they are having a fundraiser to help with expenses once their baby is born.

I now seem to forget about the fact that they are both in their 50’s now. I ask them about the fundraiser. It’s a raffle where you guess when the baby will be born. The one closest to the actual date wins. I ask them what’s their due date.

They look at me as one and like I am the most ignorant person on this earth. They say that if they tell me, I would have an unfair advantage. I look at her flat belly that I had NO idea was carrying a baby. I then try to explain that most of the time with these raffles, the people already know about when the due date is (not to mention that they already know that there is a baby on the way) and that they usually add the time born since everyone knows theoretically when he or she should arrive.

They still look at me like I am the one who doesn’t understand how this works. I suggest that maybe they just tell everyone a range that contains their due date (like about what month they are due). They finally give into my request, but they don’t make that information known to the others. There are guesses of dates all over the yearly calendar; some are even beyond 9 months away.

The guesses also have the donation amount written by them. Most are $1 or $2 each. I hate to tell them this, but that won’t go far at all when raising a baby. It seems like this is the first baby for each of them, but I know that is definitely not the truth in real life.

It then dawns on me that I still have no idea why any of these people are in my house… not to mention during a time of quarantine.

I ask Nate and Cassie why this “party” is at my house. I don’t even ask what they are doing over a couple of thousand miles away from their homes back in the Midwest… especially for a fundraiser that will probably only earn them $100 at most, not to mention the fact that I am probably the only one they actually know here in northern Nevada.

They tell me that it was Angie’s idea. I look over to her knitting on my couch. She said nonchalantly, “Oh ya, they came by the other day when I was here doing the pickup of my breads and rolls.” Well I have a couple of questions here, but I don’t ask them: Where was I when you were here the other day? Why at my house? Where’s MY bread? Where’s your mask? In fact, where are all of your masks???

Ok, Angie does bake breads and rolls to sell to friends, but I haven’t seen anything about that during this time AND she would be doing a no contact porch pick up now if she did… and it would be at her OWN house!

I just begin to unravel.

All of a sudden my mom comes out of the kitchen. Mind you, my house is rather small and I most definitely would not have missed seeing my mom even from that front closet door. The layout is basically open and includes a half wall between the kitchen and living room.

You would think that I would be overwhelmed with seeing my mom for the first time in over 33 years and she me. Instead her only concern was that I wasn’t being a good hostess. I was focusing on the wrong thing! I should act more excited about Nate and Cassie’s pregnancy and not be focused on myself.

My sister “Veronica” then steps around the half wall and gives me a detailed lecture about thinking about others first. She and I are now 9 and 12 years older than our mom, but that doesn’t phase her a bit, either. I know it is an extremely weird feeling for us both as we have aged beyond our mom, in real life.

Now in real life, I am sure that my sister would be A LOT more concerned about why all of these people are traveling such great distances and gathering at this time… without wearing masks.

Throughout all of this, more and more people are walking into my house. They are totally ignoring me and someone keeps opening the master bedroom door. That takes over on my concerns for a bit. Stay out of my room!  LOL

Everyone not only acts like they own the place, but they all somehow already know each other. There is no need for me to introduce these people who come from all different times of my life and from all of the locations I have lived over the years. It is seamless to them and I am the only one confused by this. Another freaky thing is that many have not aged past their teens or early twenty’s, but unfortunately, some of us have.

All of a sudden, I realize that I have an important online meeting on Zoom today at 2:30 for work. I look at my watch (which I don’t actually wear) and it says 2:48. I am late!

I start rushing around gathering my laptop, notebook, pen, the TV tray table, a box to put my laptop up at a higher angle (because it is supposed to be more flattering), and a folding chair… which is difficult since all seats are taken and nobody else seems to care about my frantic state. I keep saying if I don’t get on this Zoom call now, I will be fired on the spot! They are all like: ok, whatever… we are here for Nate and Cassie.

I start dragging my supplies for the meeting out the front door and am planning on doing the Zoom call from there since it will be much quieter. There is now a steady stream of people coming down the street and into my house. Not one person is leaving.

By the time I get my “desk” set up for the Zoom call and hit Join Meeting, it is well after 3:00 and I am sure I am doomed. Now in real life, Lynn would have texted me several times and even called if I was missing a meeting.

Suddenly, I wake up. Exhausted physically and mentally… and checking the time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Have you had any freaky quarantine dreams? If so, please share in the comments section.

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